A positive correlation holds between the GC level of third codon positions of human genes (GC3) and hydropathy of the encoded proteins. This correlation may appear counterintuitive, since it links a physical property of proteins to the base composition of 'synonymous' sites. We here establish the nontriviality of the correlation, which has recently been contested. In particular, the correlation cannot simply be a consequence of an analogous correlation for first and second codon positions, since no such correlation exists. More generally, for any explanation via two chained correlations, the intermediate property would need to be strongly correlated with hydrophobicity and/or GC3.
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